What is good mental health? Well, it is not one thing alone. Rather, it is a number of things that give us good mental health. It is our ability to learn; it is about how we express ourselves, using a range of emotions to do so. It is about how we cope with change and the uncertainties that can bring, and it is also about our relationships with others, ensuring that these are positive rather than negative.
Of course, we all go through moments of feeling low, of having a ‘bad day’ and this is quite natural. Most of us cannot walk around all day with a big grin on our faces and nor should we feel the need to. Having negative thoughts is not the issue; how we deal with them is.
There are a variety of ways that you can help yourself to combat the stress that can lead to poor mental health and there are simple tips that we can all follow to achieve this:
- Get enough sleep. For teenagers and adolescents this is normally somewhere between 8 and 10 hours each night.
- Get moving. Try to engage in some sort of physical activity as this releases endorphins that make you feel good. It also takes your mind off any problem you might be mulling over.
- Get some perspective. Take time to think about your strengths and what you are good at. By focusing on these we limit the power that stress and worry has over us.
- Get happy. Find a hobby or interest that you enjoy doing and that makes you feel good.
- Get communicating. It can be hard managing stress alone so talk to someone you trust. Just talking about a problem out loud can diminish the power it has over you.
What is good mental health? It is not easy to answer, but it is having it is important for all of us, particularly in these times of isolation and lock down. Hopefully though, we will all be back together very soon but until then please look out for each other – be the friend you would want to have. You have all done so well thus far so just keep it going for a little bit longer. Sending good thoughts and positive energy.
Miss G, aka Miss Adele Gilmour, Deputy Head, Pastoral Care